Asia

Jeremy Lin Visits Thailand’s ‘Red Light District’, Changes His Life Forever

A recent trip to Thailand’s infamous red light district has reportedly opened NBA superstar Jeremy Lin’s eyes to the harsh reality of human trafficking.

Lin, who walked the popular sex tourist destination with Pastor Eugene Cho, witnessed firsthand the industry that exploits thousands of under-aged sex workers daily. He shared that his discovery in Bangkok’s seedy district has changed his perspective for good.

Cho posted a photo on Instagram featuring himself and Lin taking a walk in the area, which the 28-year-old Chinese-American athlete shared on his Twitter account with the caption: “This trip changed my perspective for real.”

When @jlin7 and @onedayswages began our partnership this past year, I was taken back that he didn’t just want to make a financial donation but shared that he and his team also wanted to genuinely learn more about the various issues of global justice – both challenges and hopeful aspects. We talked about taking a trip together but I honestly didn’t think his team would follow through. Not that I questioned their heart but his schedule is crazy and he’s constantly training. Add my schedule – even without training. But by God’s grace, it happened. We’ve been traveling throughout Thailand this past week and learning the various nuances, challenges and complexities around girls’ empowerment … patriarchy, poverty, trafficking, education, government, law enforcement, and the list goes on. Earlier this week, we walked through one of the red light districts in Bangkok where on any given night, there are 10,000 sex workers. I’ve been here several times before but it’s still as heavy and painful. Many of these sex workers are from rural areas, the hill tribes, and migrants from neigboring countries. I’m deeply appreciative of Jeremy and his team for joining me this week. Grateful for the various NGOs that hosted us to share their passion and heartaches. Can’t wait to share more as I make my way back home. #jlin7 #jeremylin #onedayswages #ODWandJLIN

A post shared by Eugene Cho (@pastoreugenecho) on

In an interview with the Gospel Herald, Cho revealed that they learned about the challenges and difficulties the sex workers face as they were traveling throughout Thailand.

“I’ve been here several times before but it’s still as heavy and painful,” the pastor was quoted as saying. “Many of these sex workers are from rural areas, the hill tribes, and migrants from neighboring countries.”

The popular Brooklyn Nets guard had just partnered with two Asian-based charities: One Day’s Wages, which is dedicated to raising awareness of girls’ education, and the Hug Project, which aims to save children from human trafficking.

“I’m deeply appreciative of Jeremy and his team for joining me this week,” Cho said. “Grateful for the various NGOs that hosted us to share their passion and heartaches. Can’t wait to share more as I make my way back home.”

Lin’s willingness to make a difference despite his busy schedule as an NBA superstar has impressed the pastor.

“We talked about taking a trip together but I honestly didn’t think his team would follow through,” Cho explained. “Not that I questioned their heart but his schedule is crazy and he’s constantly training. Add my schedule – even without training. But by God’s grace, it happened.”

Lin earlier donated his game check from earlier this year to One Day’s Wages and has committed to doing it again this upcoming season.

“Millions of girls across the globe are unable to get the education they need to provide for themselves and their families,”  Lin wrote on the One Day’s Wages website.

“This is due to unaffordable school fees, forced child marriage, lack of sanitary products when they reach puberty, and many other barriers. My hope is to shed some light on these issues, and invite you to join me in taking action,” he added.


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